Aaron Douglas, 21, a University of Alabama football player was found dead Thursday morning at a residence in Fernandina Beach, FL where he had been to a party the night before. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
Douglas was a freshman All-SEC offensive lineman for the University of Tennessee before transferring to Arizona Western College where he played last year. He signed with the Crimson Tide after last season and battled for a starting spot at left offensive tackle during spring training.
The Fernandina Beach Police Department in Florida is issuing this release on Douglas' death.
The University issued statements from athletics director Mal Moore and football coach Nick Saban.
"It is with tremendous sadness that we received the news of the passing of Aaron Douglas," said Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore. "Our prayers and sympathies are with the Douglas family at this tragic time."
"It is a tragedy anytime you lose someone close to you and even more so when it is a member of your family," said UA head football coach Nick Saban. "Aaron was a part of our family and always will be a part of our family at Alabama. He was an outstanding young man and we were excited about what he had accomplished as a player and a person in the short time he was with us.
Douglas' Twitter account was last updated near midnight Wednesday and indicated he was about to hang out with friends and wanted to know who was still awake. Tweets also indicate he was in the Jacksonville, Florida area.
Douglas was ranked No. 10 in the Rivals.com 2011 JUCO Top 50. He started 10 games at tackle and saw action in 13 contests as a redshirt freshman at Tennessee after changing positions from tight end. He was named the SEC offensive lineman of the Week following the Vols win over Memphis in 2009 and earned Freshman All-SEC honors from league coaches.
A prolific player even in high school, Douglas helped Maryville High in Maryville, Tenn. to a 60-0 record with four consecutive Class 4A state championships. He was twice named the Class 4A Mr. Football Lineman of the Year.
Douglas' MySpace page indicated that he'd enjoyed writing poetry since the 5th grade which budded into a passion for writing music. He indicated that he did not get enough time to write because of college football. His page hosted numerous samples of his musical work.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, David and Karla, who are two of the best people you will ever meet and the love they had for their son was something very special," Saban said. "As a father, there is nothing we can say to describe the loss of a son. Our Alabama family has sustained a tragic loss and the Alabama family is grieving that loss. We will be here to support Aaron's family in any way we can."
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